National Rifle Association sues state of New York over insurance crackdown

Insurance crackdown - Gun Insurance - Guns

The pro-gun group accuses New York of conducting an unconstitutional “political blacklisting campaign.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filed a lawsuit over the New York insurance crackdown reported by Live Insurance News last week. The NRA sued state Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as New York’s financial Regulators. It accuses them of an unconstitutional “political blacklisting campaign” to halt banks and insurance companies from partnering with the group.

The NRA filed its lawsuit against the state in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

The lawsuit is a response to the state’s insurance crackdown. New York required the halt of sales of the “Carry Guard” insurance program in the state. That gun insurance coverage was designed to pay the legal fees for policyholders who use their weapons in self-defense. State regulators said the gun insurance program had components that break New York laws.

In April, Cuomo directed the New York Department of Financial Services “to urge companies to weigh reputational risk of business ties,” to the NRA and other comparable organizations, reported the Wall Street Journal. The NRA’s lawsuit alleges that state officials used “selective prosecution, backroom exhortations, and public threats with a singular goal—to deprive the NRA and its constituents of their First Amendment right to speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment.”

The state insurance crackdown went so far as to fine insurers that did not cease the sale of Carry Guard.

The National Rifle Association is attempting to gain an injunction against New York. They say they are working to stop the state’s actions they claim are infringing on First Amendment rights and that stand in the way of their business relationships. They are also seeking compensation for damages as well as punitive.

Cuomo (D) responded to the lawsuit filing by saying that New York would not be “intimidated by frivolous court Insurance crackdown - Gun Insurance - Gunsactions.” He also added that, “We have an obligation to protect New Yorkers, and this sham suit will do nothing to stop that.”

Maria Vullo, the state Financial Services Superintendant explained that a component of her department’s responsibilities is to supervise regulated entities to reduce risks “including reputational risk.” She added that the insurance crackdown against the NRA’s program was because that coverage “unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners.”

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